Research Unit for Euro-African Studies
About the Research Unit
In 2010, the Department of Political Sciences established the "Research Unit on Euro-African Relations". This step testifies to the Department's growing research interest in international issues such as comparative regionalism, multilateralism, development policies, international trade, North-South relations and South-South cooperation.
The Unit's researchers are presently working on a number of case studies under the auspices of the international project MERCURY: Multilateralism and the EU in Contemporary Global Order (a project funded by the European Union 7th Framework Programme), in which the Department of Political Sciences has been participating since early 2009.
Dr Lorenzo Fioramonti
Dr Fioramonti is a research fellow at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences and leads the MERCURY team in Pretoria. He is the author of a number of publications on the European Union and its relationship with other emerging global powers. His research focus within MERCURY is EU-Africa relations, multilateral development policies and inter-regionalism. His most recent publications include: European Union Democracy Aid: Supporting Civil Society in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Routledge 2010) and External Perceptions of the European Union as a Global Actor (Routledge 2009).
Prof Maxi Schoeman
Professor Schoeman holds a PhD in International Politics from the University of Wales (Aberystwyth) and has been head of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria since November 2000. She is also an adjunct professor in the School of Public Policy, George Mason University, the deputy chair of the Institute for Global Dialogue (SA) and serves on the SA Ministry of Defence Transformation and Monitoring Board. Her research focus within MERCURY is multilateralism and security issues, African conflicts, EU-Africa and multilateral security cooperation.
Prof Gerrit Olivier
Professor Olivier is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and holds a DPhil degree in International Relations from the same institution. He was an official in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and he served as the first South African Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan. He is the author of various books and articles on international relations. His research focus within MERCURY is EU and African multilateralism.
Dr Yolanda Spies
Dr Spies is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and is the Programme Director of its new Master of Diplomatic Studies. She was a South African diplomat until she joined the university in 2006, and in the course of her career lived and worked in four continents. Her research focus within MERCURY is the potential synergy between the EU and AU’s multilateral attempts to reform global political governance, specifically the UN Security Council.
Ms Alida Kok
Ms Kok is a Master’s student and Junior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences. She has been involved in several projects that analysed EU-African relations. She has also worked as research assistant under the Sixth Framework Programme during which she researched South Africans’ perceptions of the EU. Her research focus within MERCURY is on the EU’s development strategy and development co-operation with Africa.